ENGLEWOOD, Colo., April 6 /PRNewswire/ — Drive through any neighborhood in the nation and you’ll see them fluttering in the wind: lost pet signs nailed to sign posts and taped to convenience store windows. These signs often include the name of the lost pet, a physical description, sometimes a picture, and even a reward. But in reality, what are the chances this loved family pet will ever make it home again?
According to the American Humane Association (AHA), a stray animal may be lost forever if it does not have some sort of identification. To hammer that message home, AHA will sponsor the second annual Tag Day this Saturday, April 8. In conjunction with humane agencies across the country, Tag Day is designed to educate owners about the importance of an ID tag, a license tag, microchip, or any other device that can better help local animal welfare professionals identify and reunite lost pets with their families again.
“The great tragedy is that so many animals arrive at shelters with no ID tags,” says AHA’s President Timothy O’Brien. “That means it’s up to the owner to track down the lost pet — often a very difficult thing to do. If the pet has a tag with a phone number on it, then chances are it won’t be lost for very long.”
While most people think it could never happen to them, losing a pet occurs more often than one might think. According to AHA, about six million lost animals entered the nation’s shelters last year — approximately 3.8 million dogs and 2.3 million cats.
“What makes this reality even sadder is the low rate at which these animals are ever found again by their owners,” adds Nicholas Gilman, AHA’s Director of Animal Programs. “For every 100 dogs lost, only about 17 dogs are reunited with their families. For cats, it’s a pitiful two out of every 100. The rest of these animals are adopted to new families or tragically euthanized to make room for other homeless pets, all because they lack identification.”
With these alarming statistics in mind, AHA’s Tag Day comes at a crucial time of the year, when warmer temperatures mean more people will be outdoors with their pets. Increased outdoor activity always corresponds with an increase in lost animals arriving at shelters. AHA hopes Tag Day activities around the country will have a positive effect in reducing these seasonally higher numbers.
This year, Tag Day is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, whose generous funding enables the national organization to provide humane agencies with the resources to educate pet owners. For more information on Tag Day, contact the American Humane Association at (800) 227-4645 or check out their website at www.americanhumane.org.
For more information, contact Jack Sparks, 303-925-9453, for American Humane Association.